The Odd Couple (Female Version)
by Silverado High School Theatre

Can two complete opposites, each fresh from a divorce, live together without driving each other crazy? What if their names were Oscar Madison and Felix Unger? And what if those names were changed to Olive Madison and Florence Unger?? You would be end up with the “female version” of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple. The result of which just played out during a one-weekend-only show at Silverado High School in Henderson, Nevada.

Dyare Purdy, a senior at Silverado, directed this gender-bending twist on the comedy classic with backstage help from fellow senior Luke Horvath. The show came off smoothly and successfully, and Dyare’s cast provided some good characters and humor even though most had only been in one or two performances before this production. Those characters consisted of women in their thirty-somethings, set in the mid-1980s. Music snippets played during scene changes (Let’s Hear It for the Boy, Come On Eileen, Tainted Love, etc.) helped set the period, as did the original Trivia Pursuit game that has replaced poker as the game of choice for girls night out.

It’s during one of these game nights when the friends hear that Florence’s husband has left her and that she may be suicidal. The news leads to a nervous debate as to whether a woman so cautious that she wears a seatbelt at the drive-in movie would have it in herself to commit suicide. When Flo shows up at Olive’s apartment, they aren’t taking any chances, talking her away from open windows in the twelfth-floor apartment (while trying to convince her it’s really just a short eleven floors down) and, when all else fails, hitting the hysterical Flo over the head. Before the night is over, the messy Olive has offered to let the tidy Florence to be her roommate, and the odd couple has been formed.

Darlena Kern is Olive who has spent the past several months giving money to her sponge of an ex-husband while growing desperate for some dating. She clearly finds some solace in her messy apartment and playing Trivia Pursuit with her girlfriends. Darlena does a nice job of teetering on the edge of insanity as Florence cleans up the apartment and disinfects the trivia cards. Jill Golding is the emotionally fragile clean freak who amusingly switches between pouty lady in distress and angry tower of strength when pushed by a messy, late-for-dinner Olive, using a plastic ladle with menacing authority. 

Their friends include Cassie CerJanic as the humorously blunt-speaking female cop Mickey, Ashley Dodderer as the gossipy Renee, Erinn Simon as the smart and smart alec Sylvie who delivers her lines in a nicely understated manner, and Nicole Bell who is a hoot as the pretty but ditzy Vera. Adding much to the humor are Alex Tice and Sean Rousseau as the Costazuela brothers, neighbors down the hall who spend an awkward but memorable double date with Olive and Flo, their conversation punctuated with bouts of simultaneous laughter which is sometimes real and sometimes nervous – depending on how well or how badly the first-date banter is going.

Performs February 1-3, 2007.

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

Olive Madison: Darlena Kern
Florence Unger: Jill Golding
Mickey: Cassie CerJanic
Renee: Ashley Dodderer
Sylvie: Erinn Simon
Vera: Nicole Bell
Manolo Costazuela: Alex Tice
Jesus Costazuela: Sean Rousseau

Director: Dyare Purdy
Asst. Director/Stage Manager: Luke Horvath
Scenic Designer: Justin Goldman
Lighting: Ally Bertrand and Ms. Heather Grindstaff
Sound: Ryan Petrocco


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